Tunnel Drama Review

Tunnel Drama Review

Tunnel Drama Review: “Tunnel,” a 2017 South Korean crime thriller, takes viewers on a mind-bending journey through time and a relentless pursuit of justice. This review delves into the show’s strengths, weaknesses, and its overall effectiveness in weaving a suspenseful narrative that explores the complexities of catching a serial killer.

Tunnel Drama Review

A Detective Thrown Through Time: A Gripping Premise

The show’s central premise grabs viewers’ attention from the very first episode. Park Kwang-ho, a dedicated detective from 1986, chasing a serial killer through a tunnel, emerges on the other side to find himself in 2017. Disoriented and bewildered, Kwang-ho must adapt to a world vastly different from his own. This time-travel element adds a layer of intrigue and allows for interesting comparisons between investigative techniques of the past and present.

A Cast of Compelling Characters:

  • Park Kwang-ho (Choi Jin-Hyuk): A tenacious and old-school detective, Kwang-ho’s unwavering determination to catch the killer drives the narrative forward. Choi Jin-Hyuk delivers a powerful performance, showcasing Kwang-ho’s frustration at being displaced in time while never losing sight of his mission.
  • Kim Sun-Jae (Yoon Hyun-Min): A young and by-the-book detective in 2017, Sun-Jae initially clashes with Kwang-ho’s unorthodox methods. Over time, however, they develop a grudging respect for each other, forming an unlikely partnership.
  • Shin Jae-Yi (Lee Yoo-Young): A brilliant criminal psychologist, Jae-Yi provides valuable insights into the killer’s psyche. While initially skeptical of Kwang-ho’s claims of being from the past, she becomes a crucial ally in the investigation.

A Masterful Blend of Genres: Suspense, Procedural, and Social Commentary

“Tunnel” excels at blending multiple genres. The suspenseful hunt for the serial killer keeps viewers on the edge of their seats, with each episode revealing new clues and unexpected twists. The show also functions as a police procedural, detailing the painstaking process of forensic investigation and building a case. Beyond the central mystery, “Tunnel” offers subtle commentary on social issues like media sensationalism and the growing disconnect between generations.

A World of Contrasts: 1986 vs. 2017

The show effectively contrasts the investigative techniques and social realities of 1986 and 2017. Kwang-ho’s reliance on intuition and physical evidence clashes with the reliance on advanced technology in 2017. The portrayal of societal changes adds depth to the narrative, highlighting the evolution of forensics and the impact of media scrutiny on police investigations.

Strengths: A Show that Keeps You Guessing

  • Suspenseful Plot: The show’s fast-paced narrative is packed with twists and turns. The identity of the killer remains a mystery until the very end, keeping viewers guessing throughout the series.
  • Compelling Character Development: The show invests time in developing its characters, allowing viewers to understand their motivations and struggles. The unlikely bond between Kwang-ho and Sun-Jae is a highlight, showcasing the power of collaboration despite generational differences.
  • Social Commentary: “Tunnel” subtly weaves in social commentary, prompting viewers to reflect on the media’s role in shaping public perception and the importance of maintaining a focus on the victims amidst sensational headlines.

Weaknesses: A Few Missteps

  • Uneven Pacing: While the overall pacing is good, there are moments where the narrative slows down slightly, particularly in the middle of the series.
  • Characterization of Supporting Cast: While the central characters are well-developed, some of the supporting cast members feel underdeveloped, particularly certain members of the 2017 police department.

A Gripping Descent into the Darkness: A Show Worth Watching

Despite these minor weaknesses, “Tunnel” remains a compelling drama. The show’s unique premise, well-developed characters, and suspenseful plot make for a truly engaging viewing experience. It’s a show that will keep you guessing until the very end, leaving you pondering the complexities of catching a serial killer and the enduring power of human connection across time.


“Tunnel” is a must-watch for fans of Korean dramas, particularly those who enjoy crime thrillers with a science fiction twist. The show’s suspenseful narrative, compelling characters, and exploration of social issues make it a rewarding experience. While there are a few pacing issues and underdeveloped characters, the show’s strengths far outweigh its weaknesses.

Beyond the Surface: Exploring Themes and Symbolism

While the central mystery and suspense drive the narrative, “Tunnel” offers more than just a thrilling chase. Here’s a deeper look at some of the show’s thematic and symbolic elements:

  • The Passage of Time: The time travel element serves as a metaphor for the passage of time and the ever-widening gap between generations. Kwang-ho’s struggle to adapt to the future reflects the challenges of bridging generational divides and understanding the changing world.
  • The Pursuit of Justice: The show explores the relentless pursuit of justice. Kwang-ho’s unwavering determination to catch the killer, even displaced in time, embodies this theme. It highlights the importance of never giving up on seeking justice for victims, regardless of the obstacles.
  • The Power of Memory: Memories play a crucial role in the show. Kwang-ho’s memories of his life in 1986, particularly of his deceased wife, fuel his determination. The show emphasizes the power of memory in shaping us and keeping us connected to the past.
  • The Duality of Humanity: The show portrays the duality of human nature. The contrasting personalities of Kwang-ho and Sun-Jae represent different approaches to problem-solving. Ultimately, their collaboration highlights the value of combining experience and new perspectives.
  • The Tunnel as a Symbol: The tunnel itself takes on symbolic meaning. It represents not just a physical passage through time but also a journey into the darkness of the human psyche, mirroring the investigation into the mind of the serial killer.

Production Choices: Enhancing the Storytelling

The production choices in “Tunnel” contribute significantly to the show’s atmosphere and overall impact.

  • Cinematography: The show utilizes dark, muted tones in the 1986 scenes, contrasting with the brighter and more sterile visuals of 2017. This reinforces the sense of displacement Kwang-ho experiences.
  • Music and Sound Design: The suspenseful score and the use of sound effects heighten tension during investigative scenes and chase sequences.
  • Set Design: The meticulous recreation of the 1980s and 2017 police stations, forensic labs, and crime scenes adds to the show’s realism.

Legacy and Impact:

“Tunnel” garnered critical acclaim for its suspenseful plot, strong performances, and exploration of social issues. It sparked discussions about the evolution of crime-solving techniques and the enduring impact of unsolved crimes. The show’s success has cemented its place as a gripping Korean drama with a unique time-travel twist.

Conclusion: A Show that Resonates

“Tunnel” is more than just a crime thriller. It’s a show that delves into themes of time, justice, memory, and the complexities of human nature. With its captivating story, well-developed characters, and thought-provoking themes, “Tunnel” remains a resonant and rewarding experience for viewers seeking a suspenseful drama with depth.

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